Criticisms of  the best fit approach includes the lack of
sophistication in identifying and describing business strategy and linking it
with HRM, as well as the fact that, in real life, some successful organisations
compete on all competitive strategy dimensions. Also, the approach’s focus on
fit with strategy is only one possible contingency.  Best Practice The theory of
the “best practice” approach suggests that there is ‘one best way’ of managing
human resources. In this HR strategy, the implementation of a set of “high
performance work practices” (HPWPs) is key. These HPWPs include the selection,
possible rewards, the employee’s development and his or her involvement. The “best
practice” approach is supposed to lead to rewards in terms of enhanced employee
performance and it emphasizes a “horizontal” fit for
the individual employee within the organization. Also important
is that the theory of “best practice” rejects the “best fit” approach as the model claims that certain tasks of HR
activities exist which universally support companies in reaching a competitive
advantage regardless of the organizational setting or industry (Redman and
Wilkinson, 2009)The approach
can be traced to the Harvard model but it is largely associated with the work
of Pfeffer. Pfeffer states that there are seven key HRM practices starting with
Employment security. Employment security is an essential fundament in order to
secure work commitment, individual productivity and long-term thinking. The
second practice is targeted selection, which means that the hiring of new
employees must be very selective to build effectiveness and increased
performance for the business. Pfeffer’s next point is workplace teams and
decentralization, whereby he means that the organization must implement
self-managed employee teams and the devolution of the decision-making. Next is
the high pay contingent on organisational
performance where the business implements “above the norm” compensation and
performance related rewards for the employees. Pfeffer continues with employee
training and states that the business must have a strong focus on training to
ensure employee capability. Reduction of status differentials is Pfeffer’s next
practice where he states that the development of an egalitarian workplace is
important to promote an open management style. Pfeffer’s seventh practice is
the business information sharing with employees because the sharing of business
and financial information develops trust and commitment between management and
employees.   Criticism of the
best practice approach states that there is a problem of definition, as the
approach lacks one common definition. Also criticized is the fact that many of
the studies rely on only one or two respondents and the approach excludes the
impact of other key functional areas.   Architectural mapping The framework
of architectural mapping regards human resources as human capital. The model is
based on the assumption that human capital can be assessed by two factors.
These two factors are the uniqueness of the individual’s skills required and
the strategic benefit of the skill to the business. According to
these two factors the human capital is “mapped” (Bhatawdekar, 2004) as the work
is put into one of four employment models and a human capital architecture is
built. The four employment models work as follows: 1)    Work that requires skills that are low in uniqueness and are of
low strategic value to the organization could be contracted outside the
organization (outsourced/subcontracted). 2)    For work that requires skills that are high on uniqueness and are
of low strategic value to the organization, the implementation of partnerships
or alliances is necessary. Here the relationships of the partners/alliances to the
organization’s in-house employees (whose skills are unique and are of strategic
value to the organization) are vital. 3)    Transactional work requiring skills that are low in uniqueness but are of high
strategic value to the organization will need in-house employed persons. 4)    Knowledge based work requiring skills that are high on uniqueness
and also are highly strategic to the organization will also be done by the
in-house employed persons.According to the mapping,
the decisions to carry out the work within or outside the organization will be
decided. The HRM strategies to build up the human
capital will be worked out which in turn will guide the HR practices to be
followed.”Build or Buy” Approaches:With the
above-mentioned discussion, an organization must decide the following:
and how much human capital to build within (in-house employment)
and how much human capital to buy from outside (outsource/subcontract)
The in-house
employment may promote more commitment, as well as pride, quality and security.
The outsourcing may result in less supervision, a minimum contracted quality
and low overall costs. REFERENCES Barney, J. B. &
Hesterly, W. S. (2005) Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage: Concepts.
Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New JerseyBarney, J. B., &
Hesterly, W. S. (2010). VRIO Framework. In Strategic Management and Competitive
Advantage (pp. 68–86)Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm
Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, Vol. 17,
pp.99–120.Beer, M., Spector, B., Lawrence, P.R., Quinn Mills, D.
and Walton, R.E. (1984) Managing Human
Assets.  Beaumont, P.B. and Hunter, L.C. (1992) Organisational
change and HRM: a longitudinal case study,’ Management Research News, 15 (5/6): 23. Bowen, D.E., Ledford, G.E. and Nathan, B.R. (1991)
‘Hiring for the organization, not the job,’ Academy of Management Executive, 5 (4): 35–51. Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. (2011) Strategy and Human Resource Management. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan. Gregory
G. Dess and Peter S. Davis (1984) The
Academy of Management JournalVol.
27, No. 3, pp. 467-488 Porter, M. E. (1980) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing
Industries and Competitors.  Strategic management online
Available at:, F. T. (2012).
Strat.Mgmt.: Concepts and Cases. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, p. 5  


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